Content created without keeping in mind the user’s intent and needs is quickly taken to the bottom of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs), and rightly so. A search engine’s whole purpose is to provide the best, most relevant results to people, so it is essential to create content that prioritizes real intent.
In this article, you will learn the basics of optimizing content for user intent. Once you optimize your content for user intent, any SEO technique you apply will provide far better results.
Here is how you can create content optimized for user intent:
1. Create Tailored Content for Users at Different Stages of Their Buyer’s Journey
People are different. The way people use the internet is also different. So, why are you creating the same kind of content for everyone?
To create genuinely optimized content for all kinds of users, you will need to consider why someone entered a particular term or phrase in Google, and not something else.
The best way to create tailored, unique content for users is to stop writing and start thinking. Why is a person searching for this term, and what kind of content will help them? By doing this simple act of thinking before acting, you’re setting yourself up for content that helps your audience and speaks to them.
There are three kinds of queries that represent the stages of a user’s search intent: informational, navigational and transactional.
If a user is in their informational stage, content that guides them about the transactional stage will not be any good. In a case such as this, you might not even be featured on the SERP.
But worst-case scenario, if you get featured on an unrelated search query and the user clicks on it, they will leave unsatisfied. If the dwell time on your site for that piece of content is meager, Google might end up showing content from other websites that provide better value.
Having different types and forms of content will allow you to capture your audience’s attention, wherever they may be in their buyer’s journey.
2. Use Targeted Keywords in Your Content
Content – with keywords – is still king.
Keywords have always been a core component of any SEO or content marketing strategy. You must make sure that you have a firm grip on your audience’s search and find.
Before creating any content, you need to assess what your business intends to gain from posting this content. Is it to generate awareness within a popular niche, or maybe you’re trying to get users to test your newest offering? Either way, you have to identify this first before moving on to creating content.
Once you understand your intentions, you can then conduct the best kind of targeted keyword research.
Keyword research becomes instrumental when you are clear on your goals. You can produce content that not only helps your audience but also brings conversions for your business.
When placing keywords in your content, you need to ensure two things.
Firstly, make sure that your content is not stuffed with keywords. People don’t like it, and search engines don’t like it. Everyone hates keyword stuffing, so why bother doing it?
The second thing is that you need to place keywords that speak to the user’s intent and their current stage in the buyer’s journey.
Once you have done these two things, feel free to include keywords naturally throughout your content. Ideally, it would be best to mention your primary keyword at the very start of your content. Fewer than 100 words would be the best.
If you’re not confident in your keyword research abilities, one tool that you should consider using for keyword research is Ubersuggest.
Enter a target keyword, and you will get recommendations on similar keywords that you can use. Another plus point that Ubersuggest offers is that it provides you with information on search volume, SEO difficulty, paid difficulty and cost-per-click for each keyword.
3. Get Experts To Participate in Creating Content for Your Site
If you want to rank high on the Google SERPs, you’re going to need backlinks from a variety of websites.
One of the easiest methods to get backlinks to your site is by partnering with famous personalities and leaders in your niche. If you handle things correctly and in a professional manner, you’ll not only get links back from your target audience but you might also get a link back from your guest’s website, too.
The great thing about collaborating with other niche and industry leaders is that you can bring their understanding of your typical target audience’s search interests into fair use. You can learn how your audience responds to different content types from different perspectives, which is valuable.
It would help if you remembered and understood that there is no such thing as a free lunch, or free publicity, for that matter.
Sure, some super-kind people will be willing to help out a small name in the industry, but that will not always be the case. Ensure that you’re providing value to your guests as well; otherwise, they won’t have an incentive to take your request seriously.
If you’re afraid of reaching out to big names, you’re not the only one. It’s a complicated process, but you need to realize that the worst thing that can happen is that the potential guest flat-out saying no.
Send an email and make sure that you’re offering your intended guests some benefit. It doesn’t have to be monetary. You should be creative in the way you approach your guests. Be personal and tailor each email according to the recipient.
Also, ensure that you are not using a generic script to establish contact. People hate it and can tell immediately if you have not put in the required effort to warrant a response. Make your pitch unique, and you will find a lot of experts willing to contribute to creating content for you.
A much-appreciated gesture would be to offer to create content for their site as well. Good content is hard to come by, and if someone is willing to go to your aid, make sure to return the gesture.
One final thing to help rank this kind of guest post is to share it as soon as it gets published. Don’t only share it on your social media profiles (make sure to tag the guest and thank them) but also in groups related to your niche.
Sending emails to your email list is another way to attract people and drive some traffic to your site. Your guest will appreciate all the work you are doing, as they will also get attention as a result of your marketing and publicity efforts.
4. Make Sure That Your Content Is Coherent
If a user has typed in a search term expecting to find savory recipes, you don’t want a large portion (or any, for that matter) of your content to be focused on making chocolate milkshakes.
You want to ensure throughout your content that you’re addressing the user’s intent.
If you need to go into detail on a particular topic, don’t be afraid to embellish your content and cover every aspect of it. However, if the user’s intent is to find a short answer, you don’t need to write a 3,000-word post.
One easy way to make your content coherent is by using lists. Yes, everyone that has ever searched something online has been bombarded with listicles, and there is a good reason for it. Listicles simply work.
A lot of the time, you will see listicle articles ranking for highly competitive searches. These articles not only capture their audience’s attention but also provide value to them. How can something like this not rank when Google is encouraging websites to be more user-friendly and valuable?
But listicles aren’t the only way to ranking high on SERPs. What you really need to focus on is formatting your content in a way that makes for a smooth user experience (UX). Good web design and tools like chatbots and live chat app contribute to a better UX.
If you think that your article can benefit from a video or an infographic, try creating one. Or, if you have the budget, consider outsourcing this kind of work to a professional. Content created by an expert will be engaging and have a high likelihood of being shared by your target audience.
Content – rather, great content – is still an essential part of any modern inbound marketing strategy. To make high-ranking content, you need to optimize it for user intent. Without this step, you will not be able to get the results you need to make a huge impact.
Creating content centered around user intent sounds complicated, but it’s not. A business must put itself into its audience’s shoes and understand what it is they are trying to find. Once you see what your audience is looking for, all that remains is for you to deliver it.